We're told we live in times that are more volatile, uncertain, chaotic, unpredictable, fast changing, complex , ambiguous and whatnot, than ever before.
But is this really true.
Personally it felt like the 6 years 2006-2012 were an insane time of change, the 8 years 2012 to 2020 seem to have been rather simple and slow.
People whip us into a frenzy these days, they say things like "change is three dimensional now"
1) It’s perpetual — occurring all the time in an ongoing way.
2) It’s pervasive — unfolding in multiple areas of life at once.
3) It’s exponential — accelerating at an increasingly rapid rate.
This seems like nonsense to me, change has always been perpetual, it's always been pervasive and it's never been exponential.
For example, the 1920's saw the western world see owned cars ownership, radios, and telephones sweep across their lives, cities were transformed by ever taller skyscrapers, subway systems across the globe were built. Women got the right to vote, movies got sound, Prohibition happened in America, troops came back from WWI
We may have to accept we don't live in times that are that chaotic, or weird, or fast or volatile, or anything.
We may be dealing with three things
1) The present always has unresolved issues, the past we look on with the benefit of knowing what happened. Rather like a movie, by the end, the story is normally clear, our fears are resolved and assuaged. Living in the middle of something is far worse than living at the end of it.
2)Our media is monetized by garnering clicks and attention. It makes more money from fear than calmness, from frenzy not perspective. Maybe the world is less crazy than algorithmically optimized content would make us believe.
3) We have growing tensions in life due to technology being applied at different layers, and change happening at different rates between them. If we were to start life today we'd have a very very different system of education, of governance, of regulation, of city planning, but we build a new future on the crumbling foundations of the past. Every year the tower of modern life we build feels more vulnerable as a result.